Global Entrepreneurship Week & Helping Budding Entrepreneurs

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Next week is Global Entrepreneurship Week with a lot of events focusing on helping people launch their own businesses.  As part of the lead up to GEW I was interviewed by CityAM, the London City based newspaper, where I stated:

that thanks to the recession, there is an abundance of good, innovative people looking for work, while business premises are cheap and lying empty. “You might have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince who funds you”, he says, but dedicated people will succeed, and find themselves perfectly placed to make the best of recovering demand.

I thought I would expand on that statement by quickly summarising what else I feel strongly about in terms of helping budding entrepreneurs succeed today.  Each of these could take up a whole blog post on their own, but the short version is:

  1. Small businesses need access to reasonable funding without paying exorbitant charges or have exorbitant conditions placed upon them.  This applies to bank charges and guarantees – the banks need to take prudent risks.  It also applies to Angel groups – paying to pitch should not be required.  Government money should be used to follow Angels who are well versed in making business decisions, rather than being sprayed around by managers who are not entrepreneurs and who don’t have experience/skills to choose.  As part of this extend EIS benefits (and scrap VCTs).  {Yes, you can start a business with no funds, and my first business STASYS was one of those, but at some point funding will inevitably be required, whether 3 months in or 3 years in.}
  2. New entrepreneurs need good advice.  We should all support initiatives from entrepreneurs to help entrepreneurs.  Launch48 is an example, as is Doug Richard’s School for Startups, the many innovation centres and meeting places (e.g. TechHub), incubators and innovation hubs such as my own iBundle, and many others.  However, and it is a big however, the entrepreneurial spirit has to be supported, not preyed upon – GEW and other initiatives help that.  Too many people look to feast on the naivety of new entrepreneurs rather than supporting them in the early stages, and then benefitting later once they are established.
  3. Government can help with those crucial early months/years of new businesses – the National Insurance relief in the budget was a step in the right direction, but so much more could be done in terms of further reducing the tax burden on startups thereby making their precious money go further and increasing their likelihood of success
  4. As Government decentralisation gathers pace and as the Government wakes up to needing value for money, then getting more small businesses to work on Government/public sector contracts is a good thing – but the costs/complexities of bidding must be reduced.

Inevitably there is more I could add to this list, but its a start – what do you think are the most important enablers that are required to support budding entrepreneurs? – please let me know via your comments below, and if you can find the time please support some of the events taking place next week – see the GEW website.

About Julian Ranger

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Posted on November 12, 2010, in Angel Investing, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree completely that SMEs need access to reasonable finance. I do not beleive that the current business iniatives to bolster lending and push equity finance to SMEs are the optimal solution.
    Lack of Working Capital is, in my opinion, the key issue facing SMEs. Borrowing will only serve to compound the issues SMEs face as they will need to find ways to service the debt on their balance sheet; not easy when large trade debtors are using their market power to extend payment cycles further and further out, and where economic conditions are impact overarching SME income.

    EuroTRX -The European Trade Receviables eXchange – will unequovically make things easier for SMEs. Its mission is to be the central market place for the trading of trade receivables within Europe and the Middle East. It aims to deliver a cheap, alternative, transparent and evolutionary approach to funding for SMEs. By receiving cash today instead of tomorrow for their outstanding trade debts as and when required, an SME can bolster their working capital and liquidity to fund growth and production instead of increasing their debt through expensive borrowing or selling a portion of their business and control in the form of equity. blog:

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